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Needle Free Injections With Microjets

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the very-star-trekkish dept.

Biotech 282

IZ Reloaded writes "Do you hate needles? In the near future, the fear of needles would be a thing of a past. Bioengineering students at the University of California, Berkeley have developed the MicroJet. It uses an electronic actuator that could one day propel vaccinations, insulin or other drugs through the skin of the patient - without the device even touching the skin - with far less pain than a hypodermic needle."

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yeah, but will it hit my vein? (0, Offtopic)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991280)

I hate wasting oxy....

It was just like sister ray sez... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991320)

...said I'm lookin'for my mainline
and I couldn't hit it sideways.
and it was just like sister Ray says..-velvet underground

Re:yeah, but will it hit my vein? (4, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991345)

It'll probably only work with injections that go into tissue instead of veins. Accuraccy doesn't matter as much with them, so close enough out to be fine. Also, didn't they already do this some years back? I remember seeing pictures of devices that looked uncomfortably like a pneumatic nail gun that could inject medicine through the skin with pressurized air. Is this just a less sinister-looking version, or did the old one have a habit of giving people embolisms or something?

pneumatic injectors are painful (5, Interesting)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991372)

I got vaccinated with an "air gun" back in the day. it hurts, probably as much as a needle. But you can do a whole group of people quickly, 'cause you don't need to change needles.

Re:pneumatic injectors are NOT painful... (2, Interesting)

25thCenturyQuaker (739040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991551)

...and neither are most standard injections, when done properly.

I got my German Measles (rubella) vaccination with a pneumatic injector. I think this was in 6th grade, which would have been sometime in 1970-71 for me. I don't really remember it hurting any more or less than a standard hypodermic needle injection (which didn't really bother me much as a kid, anyway), but it was quick, taking maybe 10 minutes, tops, to administer to a class of 30 students. School officials really played up the fact that there was no needle involved, and I think this had the psychological effect of making it much easier on the students who were scared of any type of injection.

I'll admit I'm jumping the gun with my reply here, so I'll need to read a little more to see what the difference is between the old pneumatic injectors and this new-fangled device.

I guess pain is subjective (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991593)

It was painful to me. Some of our veterans' comments give a mixed respose. Some of them say it was painful, some say it wasn't, and some needed stiches due to movement during the "injection". I know that spraying liquid thru your skin can be painful, but with one who is skillful with a needle can make it damn near painless.

Re:pneumatic injectors are painful (2, Interesting)

rworne (538610) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991650)

Such a device was used in the military. At boot camp one of these "air gun" devices was used to inoculate all the recruits:

Swab, *thwop*, swab, *thwop*, etc. about 3-5 seconds per person.

Key thing is not to flinch or move when they pull the trigger. If you do, the jet of vaccine works just like a water-cutter on skin.

Re:yeah, but will it hit my vein? (4, Informative)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991391)

Found a picture of one. It's not the one I've seen before, but it was used by the US military back in the 70's, called a Pet-o-Jet [hcvets.com]. There have also been a lot of patents [hcvets.com] on them going back into the 50's.

Yep, that's the bastard (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991413)

That is what I remember. It hurt. But it is good for treating people like cattle...

Re:Yep, that's the bastard (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991438)

Ah. I've actually seen one in use. They don't look friendly. I do have to wonder how painless this new one is, though.

Re:Yep, that's the bastard (1)

ABEND (15913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991588)

Oh yeah, Ft. Dix 1980: it hurt and getting blasts in both deltoids at one time but it was faster than sitting for a needle injection. As for being treated like cattle: ah the cattle cars ... they hurt too ...

Re:yeah, but will it hit my vein? (3, Interesting)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991562)

It was used a lot later than the '70s. I joined the Navy in 1985 and I received a number of innoculations using these. I can't say for certain but organic ram suggests it continued until the mid '90s.

They weren't any less painful than a needle, but they were much quicker and they were foolproof. Literally anybody could use one. You just put it against the arm and pull the trigger.

I believe they were discontinued because of safety reasons. I believe they found out that there was a possibility of microdrops of blood being blasted back out of the skin, and then injected into the next person.

Celebrities use... (3, Funny)

TimeTraveler1884 (832874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991367)

I hate wasting oxy....
You should try that Proactiv then. Apparently from the infomercials, Vanessa Williams was hideous before using Proactive Solution.
Vanessa Williams:
"Having acne is a drag. You're self-conscious; it's embarrassing. You just want to be normal. I know how it feels. I started breaking out when I was about sixteen, and that's a tough enough age without a face full of pimples. Acne doesn't care how old you are; even in my thirties I was still breaking out and in my business, that's unacceptable. I first started using Proactiv Solution after finding it for my teenage daughter. Within a week, I noticed an immediate change in the smoothness of my skin; fewer bumps, less redness. Now I have my brother on it, my babysitter on it. If only we had it sooner."
Everyone's doing it!

Re:Celebrities use... (1)

bird603568 (808629) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991420)

i think hes talking about the pain killer not ache cream.

Re:Celebrities use... (2, Funny)

TimeTraveler1884 (832874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991426)

I know, oxycotton. I was kidding.

Re:Celebrities use... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991471)

>>i think hes talking about the pain killer not ache cream.
> I know, oxycotton. I was kidding.

Spelling rarely rises to such levels of hilarity as it does on Slashdot.

I know. (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991519)

I was about to reply with a John Madden BOOM! but then I realized the topic wasn't "Fracture Free Interceptions With NY Jets".

Re:Celebrities use... (1)

localman (111171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991634)

I used to laugh at that crap too... until a friend convinced me to try it. I've had mild acne since I was 14 (I'm 32 now). Much to my surprise it works better than anything else I've used. I still get a zit every week or two, but it's a good deal better than it was.

It's basically just a benzoyl peroxide kit, but I've tried other products with the same active ingredient and had less luck. My guess is that it's got to do with the mildness of the cleanser and the moisturizing stuff.

Or maybe it's the celebrity endorsements that makes it work ;)

Anyways... just thought I'd throw that out there.

Oh, and to be on topic: I got a flu vaccine at work a couple years back with a needleless injection. It hurt about the same as a needle, but it was quicker.


makes no diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991283)

alas,makes no difference to potheads

Re:makes no diff (1)

wr0x2 (840346) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991337)

since when does a pothead inject his 'pot' intraveniously?

Re:makes no diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991584)

I believe that's his point stupid.

Re:makes no diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991600)

That's why it makes no difference.

Your verbal comprehantion skill is unsurpassed.

Insulin jet injectors are NOT NEW (4, Informative)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991284)

here's one for sale
http://diabetic-supplies.medical-supplies-equipmen t-company.com/product/PPF/ID/4200/new_prod_full.as p [medical-su...ompany.com]

Medi-Jector Vision(tm)Needle-Free Insulin Injection System
Accurate delivery of insulin injections from 2-50 units in 1 unit increments. Injector reusable for 3000 injections. No maintenance or cleaning required. Smaller, lighter weight and easier to use than previous models. Contains: injector, carrying case, training video, instruction manual, 2 Needle-Free Syringes (for easy and medium skin penetration) and 1 vial adaptor. Replacement Needle-Free Syringe kits sold separately.

what's amazing here?

Re:Insulin jet injectors are NOT NEW (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991474)

I pointed that out above. Somebody who's used one pointed out that they're, just as painful [slashdot.org] as a needle. The one in the article claims to be painless.

Re:Insulin jet injectors are NOT NEW (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991475)

I remember lining up with my whole grade school class to get vaccinated for something-or-other with a needle-free gun. It only took a couple of minutes to do the whole class, and I didn't feel much of anything. This was circa 1973.

I'm a type 1 diabetic (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991286)

And they've had "needle-less" injectors around for a long while, however the current ones are expensive and rather inaccurate at dosing when compared to needles.

However, I must say I really don't care if they come out with a needle-less injector that works better. It's not the shots themselves that bother me, but rather the constant maintenance that people take for granted. I'd still need to do something. Right now I have a pump, and it's better than doing individual injections, but it's always with me. I'm waiting for the day when I no longer have to worry about this disease any longer because I've been cured.

Re:I'm a type 1 diabetic (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991421)

Slash reported on curing a person with type 1 diabetes recently.

here [slashdot.org]

Hopefully, the process can be extended and given as an option to all sufferers. :)

Flu Vaccinations (1)

cobe98 (628382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991287)

Isnt this technology available today? I remember getting a flu vaccination with the same technique 3 years ago.

Yes, do you prefer... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991289)

Hypospray, anyone?

AIDS (0, Redundant)

charon_1 (562573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991290)

What happens when some crazy guy with AIDS starts shooting his blood at people and infecting them?? Hmm???? (fp)

Re:AIDS (2, Insightful)

rastakid (648791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991327)

What happens when some crazy guy with AIDS starts shooting his blood at people and infecting them?

Good point. I really hope there needs be some proximity while 'injecting'. In that case it wouldn't really be different from an HIV patient attacking you with a needle.

Jetgun (1, Interesting)

maotx (765127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991294)

Sounds similar to the jetgun [hcvets.com] the military use to use. Does anyone know the difference?

Re:Jetgun (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991361)

Ideally, it won't make you want to chew your own arm off in a desperate attempt to end the pain. If they can solve that minor issue, this might be a good thing.

Re:Jetgun (5, Interesting)

charyou-tree (774046) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991428)

Sounds similar to the jetgun the military use to use. Does anyone know the difference?

Well, they're promising "far less pain" with this device.

Once upon a time, I had the misfortune to receive a yellow fever vaccination with one of the military's needleless injectors. It felt like some steroid-pumped baseball player had swung a bat at my shoulder. Nearly as bad as the pain was the gathering anticipation of the pain, as I watched the 200-odd people in line ahead of me get their shots.

Re:Jetgun (2, Informative)

Achra (846023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991543)

*shudder* and if you moved your arm when the "bat" hit your shoulder, the high velocity jet injection would slice your arm like a razor blade. I still have a scar from my first one. Needless to say, I didn't flinch on the next one down the gauntlet.

Re:Jetgun (3, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991625)

For some reason, I still have a bright blue dot at the point of one of my vaccinations. Of course, maybe that's just the corner of the GPS/mind-control chip they embedded in me.

Obligatory Star Trek reference... (3, Funny)

HomerNet (146137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991295)

So, will we get Tricorders with these?

Re:Obligatory Star Trek reference... (2, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991328)

Ya, they are called PDA/Phones that support GPS

Re:Obligatory Star Trek reference... (3, Funny)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991523)

Which phone can tell you where the next lifeform is located from your current position and wether it is human?

Re:Obligatory Star Trek reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991553)

Well, that's obviously impossible to do... except I'd had the exact same reaction to those ridiculous "hypospray" things Dr McCoy and his successors were using.

Re:Obligatory Star Trek reference... (3, Insightful)

Jicksta (760596) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991590)

If there's anything time has told...

... it's don't doubt Star Trek :)

Re:Obligatory Star Trek reference... (1)

Jicksta (760596) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991577)

Where's my universal alien translator? My holographic image projector? My ability to interface with nearly any gadget in the universe?

You can keep your silly cell phones. I want the good stuff.

I'm a dr dammit, not a slashdot article! (0, Redundant)

Shayde (189538) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991299)

Sounds very Star-trek'y... the whole pneumatic against the neck thingy. *FSSHT!*

Cool though - I wonder if this can work for any type of injection? Things like insulin shots, etc.

Yes please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991301)

Oh, yes please. But would this cost more than old method? I hate needless, but I hate losing money also.

The first? (4, Interesting)

ImTwoSlick (723185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991303)

I have distinct memories of getting shots in basic training, where a needleless gun was used. How is this any different?

And trust me.. It is not exactly pain-free.

Re:The first? (3, Insightful)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991436)

I'm right there with you. I had about a half dozen "shots" with that thing in one day. Pain-free is not something we associated with it. And that's not counting the folks who were cut because either they or the tech's hand were moving when they did the injection. IIRC a couple of people ended up with stiches.

Re:The first? (1)

wolfgang_spangler (40539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991477)

I'd take that over a needle any day. I didn't have any problem with that. The only people that did were people who moved. Don't tense up, and don't move. Simple, fast, almost painless.

mh1500 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991307)

This technology's already in the marketplace:
http://medevoice.co.uk/themedicalhou se/index.php

Link to Tripod??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991308)

Mah Gawd!

Are the editors this stupid? Doesn't Tripod allow like 10 page views an hour before it shuts itself off?

Editor: First link to the main page for archival sake, then Mirrordot or Coral Cache. Same goes for Submitters.

Well beyond... (4, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991310)

While they have not yet started tests on humans, the researchers said the range of the injector is well beyond what would be needed to deliver drugs through human skin.

So for God's sake, ask the nurse to check the settings before she pulls the trigger.

been around for a while (2, Informative)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991313)

these have been around for insulin injections for years.. though not manufactored on a large scale.. here's a modern distributor [healthchecksystems.com], and here's an article [thepigsite.com]about tests on pigs in sept of 2004 that went well.

Re:been around for a while (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991385)

Went well?

"Amounts of vaccine remaining on skin surface were quantified."

In other words, it leaves a bit of a mess.

Re:been around for a while (1)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991511)

In other words, it leaves a bit of a mess.

umm.. yeah, but "In terms of clinical disease, both groups of pigs were protected"

"Far less" (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991316)

So it's still going to hurt? (Yes I'm a wimp)

Re:"Far less" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991514)

I've probably had over a thousand allergy shots in my life. For years I even did my own. For hypodermics the trick is to relax your arms as much as possible. I always support it with something so I'm totally relaxed. There's zero pain that way. Sometimes you can feel the needle pop through the skin, but most times you don't even notice that.

Understand, this is for hypodermics (just under the skin). Deeper shots (muscle) hurt more. It's still best to relax, but they always hurt some.

It's the sad things about shots that they hurt the most for people who fear them the most. I've seen screaming kids knot up their muscles before getting shots. That's got to hurt.

Yes (1)

gwydion04 (756582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991612)

Yes, most of these things hurt more than needles. A thin needle irritates far fewer nerve fibers than a rather traumatic hydropneumatic blast o' vaccination.

Most of the pain from an injection comes from the injection of the fluid itself rather than the needle puncture

There are interesting efforts to use microporation [nih.gov] (through vaporizing the top layer of skin, using ultrasound, etc) to deliver vaccines/insulin/etc which could be less traumatic.

Could be already old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991321)

It is not thair invention. I saw this injector 3 jears ago on german television. And it is already in use.
It would be interesting to know if it use some really new ways to inject.

Didn't they invent this 40 years ago? (1, Interesting)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991322)

I remember getting vaccinated in the 1960's (yes, I'm that old) and they used some sort of air gun that shot the vaccination through the skin.

That thing HURT!

Re:Didn't they invent this 40 years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991500)

But the sucker was good!

Re:Didn't they invent this 40 years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991512)

Got vaccinated in boot camp in the early '90s with a needleless gun. I didn't feel any pain, but some did. Seemed to be rather hit-or-miss from person to person on if he felt pain or not.

Some time ago now (2, Interesting)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991331)

I was reading an article a few years ago about how they are going to try reducing the surface area with nerves with syringes by putting tiny hair-like fibres along it, similar to a mosquito's proboscis (which can't be felt by most people).
I have yet to see them use that idea, and if you ask me that sounded a lot more cost effective then this does.

No needle at all, and it already exists (3, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991339)

For some drugs, like those that should diffuse into the body slowly over time, transdermal diffusion devices already exist right now. A prime example of those is the nicotine patch, and I hear there are patches for diabetes too.

As for lots of micro-needles vs. one big needle, it might not be all that new: I seem to recall getting some vaccine shot at school when I was a kid, where the nurse used some ring-looking plastic thing she put on her middle finger, with the business end of the device being a small, round "nail-bed" in her palm, and she slammed me on the shoulder with it, which probably accounts for the ugly mark I have there at that spot too :-)

Re:No needle at all, and it already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991435)

Yeah, I remember that thing, I think it was either MMR (Measels, Mumps, Rubella), or Polio or somesuch.

Fucker hurt, too.

Re:No needle at all, and it already exists (1)

gwydion04 (756582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991630)

That's a TB test, I believe. They use the round things on kids because they're a bit less frightening than a syringe. MMR / Polio vaccinations are injections, unless you got the live Polio vaccine (which was oral... and they don't use it anymore.... because it gave some people polio).

We got no needle injections in the 70's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991341)

Boot camp. Line up for pnuematic inoculations. I got several of these. Heck, two arms at once on occasion. This might be a non-pnuematic method but the technology is as old as the hills. Nothing new.

worst article eh-ver! (3, Insightful)

binarybum (468664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991344)

hopefully someone will link or replace this article link - it's awful!

"The researchers even joke that the MicroJet injector could be used to make getting tattoos much more bearable."

heh heh heh.... wait.. that's not a funny joke at all.

and the article fails to address the issue that this technology could become so painless that you do not even realize that you are receiving drugs. This becomes very scary.

Huh? This isn't new... (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991355)

AFAIK this isn't new... When I entered the US Army in 1969, almost all of the multitudes of shots that are given during the medical part of military induction were given by some kind of air gun, which was nearly painless.. I'd always wondered what happened to these air-guns.. Guess I'm from a alternate universe, if this is really new here in this universe... :-> LVDave

Needle-free Injection Technology Info (4, Informative)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991359)

a good page to take a look at is http://www.cdc.gov/nip/dev/jetinject.htm [cdc.gov] Its the CDC's index to the technology and hasa lot of useful information

Re:Needle-free Injection Technology Info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991449)

The microjet looks scarier than a needle.

The girl in the picture doesn't look to happy about getting that shot.

thats cool but... (1)

fractilian (704807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991370)

What about taking blood? I can handle injections but when they try to find a vein to take blood from I cant take it.

This is nothing new ... (4, Informative)

canwaf (240401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991376)

Jet injectors have been around since 1940. They were designed to inoculate in Africa, but they kept on jamming because of dust and sand. It was tossed aside for a 3 pronged fork-like needle which you just stabbed someone a couple of times, or scratched them to vaccinate them.


Heroin (4, Funny)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991388)

Finally, the last barrier to my upcoming heroin addiction (Fear of needles) has been overcome!

Concept explanation (0)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991396)

An F15 jet fighter is minaturized using alien technology at area 15 after the pilot has consumed large quantites of water and whatever medication is required. Pilot then flies micro jet into patients body, locates a vein, flies into it and ejects. Pilot then whips out his tool (not yet tested with female pilots) and urinates medication into patient. Pilot is then torn to pieces by patient's antibodies.

Its a clever system but is proving somewhat expensive in terms of planes and pilots.

Been around for a while... (1)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991416)

This is probably news sprung up since over the begining of the month it was the '10th Annual International Conference on Needle-free and Auto Injectors'

Major uses seem to be vaccination and insulin.

I'm not a big fan of bioterrorism or anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991422)

But if I were a super villian, I'd love to have one of these to turn people into my mindless slaves or some shit.

Its not the needle (4, Informative)

dracken (453199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991446)

Most people dont realize that the needle itself doesnt sting much. Its the medicine. Some medicines when they come into contact with the flesh inside, sting like crazy. Others dont.


Re:Its not the needle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991654)


argh! (0)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991454)

i hate needles, just reading the word 'injections' in the title makes me feel weak.

if only they'd invent something like this for taking blood - thats the stuff of nightmares.

They better. (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991563)

I hate those damn butterfly needles. I don't know how they'll put a microjet inside the vessel to shoot the blood out to the container though; that's what would be necessary, from what I gather.

Re:argh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991601)

I think watching my blood arc away from my veins into a bag would be even more terrifying...

similar idea (1)

wingsofchai (817999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991482)

Although it may not be possible, I can imagine a similar process only reversed for giving blood would really increase donors. Many people don't give blood for the simple reason that they don't like needles.

Awww, then you won't hear this anymore..... (3, Funny)

pg110404 (836120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991487)

NURSE: doctor, you're hitting the bone
DOCTOR: Oh so I am. It does make a lovely scraping sound though.

New needles are very thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991489)

The new needles are so thin, that they don't hurt anyway. I noticed this year that the flu shot needles were much, much thinner than last year. Pretty soon, they'll be almost invisible.

Back in the days of yore, we walked through six feet of snow uphill both ways to school and the needles were as thick as water pipes...

Pain free injections? Get bloodwork a few times. (2, Informative)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991530)

When I was a kid/teenager, I hated flu/booster shots. Og no like pain, pain bad, no pain.

Then, at the age of 23, I found a lump. It was cancer. While I didn't need chemo, I did get a lot of CT scans requiring an IV with a radiopaque substance (6 in my first year post-surgery) and bloodwork (12 in that same year).

After that, my GP strongly recommended I get a flu shot, as is suggested to anyone who's had cancer. I was a bit nervous (it had been years since I'd had one, partly because I was generally healthy, partly because I didn't like getting jabbed), but I got it anyway. And it didn't hurt. Let me tell you - after a few IVs and bloodwork needles, I can barely feel those flu shot needles anymore! I can't believe I used to be nervous about those damn things.

This year, I got a flu shot as well. And it didn't hurt.

Injections for Multiple Sclerosis (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991531)

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis four years ago (at the age of 22). Then, the best treatment available was Avonex, which is given intramuscularly once a week. The needle is about 26 gauge and 1 1/4" long. With that needle, the pain was mostly psychological. There is nothing natural about stabbing yourself with a long, sharp object.

In fact, up until about a century ago, sharp objects piercing into your body has generally been a detrimental event. It meant that you were being bitten (with poison or germs getting injected past your outer layer defenses) or you were getting punctured by something that would result in an infection. So everything about your physical makeup and your psychology is evolved to consider injections to be a bad thing. In a twist of events, now it turns out that shard objects getting jabbed into your body is mostly a beneficial thing. But it will take a long time for evolution to change our aversion to injections. And with new technologies, it may not even be necessary for that adaptation to occur. I certainly hope this becomes the case in the *very* near future. :-)

The nerves on the surface of your skin tend to cluster. So, the amount of pain related to the actual puncture of the skin varies greatly, depending on whether or not you happen to hit one of those nerve clusters. Sometimes the penetration of the skin would result in a strong pinching sensation; other times, I would not feel anything at all. For the intramuscular injections, it is also possible that you will hit another nerve on your way into the muscle tissue. That usually just results in a reflex reaction (you jump or twitch). The act of the actual injection is painless, since the solution is injected far below the surface pain receptors. But then you tend to get long-term dull pain similar to a charly horse; it's like a blunt end of a stick whacked you in the thigh and you have a nice bruise in your muscle. And $deity help you if you happen to hit your bone with the tip of the needle.

About a year ago, I switched therapies to Rebif, which is given subcutaneously three times a week. The needle is a smaller gauge and is signifianctly shorter (~1.5cm). It is unintuitive, but the subcutaneous injections, even though the needle is shorter and thinner, are much more painful than the IM injections, because the solution is injected just below the surface of the skin, where you have a lot more pain receptors. So it's not the needle really that I worry about. I hardly even feel that any more; it's the stinging sensation from the liquid getting pushed into the subcutaneous tissue just below the skin.

I use a spring-loaded injection contraption that hides the needle from my view entirely; I just hold the casing to my skin and push a button. The spring-loaded plunger pushes the needle in and presses the plunger of the syringe down to inject the medicine. I don't even worry about the needle any more; I worry about the sting with the liquid getting pushed under my skin and the subsequent itchy and burning red blotch that stays in that area for weeks afterward. So in my case, at least, the needle is a non-issue; this needle-less technology is neat, but it will not help with the pain associated with liquid getting pushed under my skin, and it will not help with the site reaction.

Wake me up when they figure out how to effectively administrate interferon-beta with a pill.

yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991535)

Do you hate needles? In the near future, the fear of needles would be a thing of a past. That's all nice and all, but you'll still need to get a needle in to get a blood sample no?

I think I may see the diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991557)

I know that some 'needle less' injectors use a very small guidy doodad. Like a small wire or pellet,Even though it's purely placebo, the idear is that if they feel some discomfort they may somethink it works better. This do gizmo unlike ones used for mas inaucations makes NO contact all- arisole kind of thing.

MPAA responds (1)

Whom99 (673995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991561)

In a related note, the MPAA released the following note:

Our business is making movies, but we will prevent the stealing of our valuable content by any means necessary, including illegal distribution by microjet. It's clear Microjet's only purpose is the illegal distribution of content, and it performs this function by violating the DMCA.

Metallica guitar player Lans Ulrich defended the position, saying Any heavy metal fan knows there's no substitute for the needle.

As Seen on TV (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991569)

It's been covered that needleless injections are probably 50 years old. Its been mentioned that people in africa and the army should be familiar with them. What hasn't been said is that these are so not new, that 9 years ago I saw on in a box that had the red tv box logo on it "As Seen on TV" Yup as in sold through infomercials.

Tatoos...new method (1)

thebes (663586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991606)

The researchers even joke that the MicroJet injector could be used to make getting tattoos much more bearable.

Are they thinking of how to numb the area? Or to apply a "spray on" tatoo. I think the spray on idea is much better. Just think, it could be used to apply semi-permanent makeup for the ladies!

Navy used this in 1976 (1)

pentalive (449155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11991623)

My first day at boot camp, in fact at arrival at boot camp we all lined up for pneumatic shots of some sort.

Granted this is probably much smaller, and works electrically rather than pneumatically.

29 years ago. Hmm Prior art?

slash & burn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11991641)

Recall a chap who when he got the front turning-point in the line, and his turn to receive multiple vaccines simultaneously in both arms as was the mass inoculation practice in the Army using the old style guns [hcvets.com], stumbled on the last step just as they went to give him his injections ; most of felt some burning ... he got a substantial slash across his deltoids (shoulders;-) mega-ouch!!! :-(

GIF image above is off a report on JET GUN INJECTION TRANSMISSION [hcvets.com] and the Potential for cross-contamination from use of a needleless injector.

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